By Amy Wadas

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks show lit up the night sky by the Highmark Stage downtown, kicking off Highmark First Night Pittsburgh!

Sunday morning, preps started early to make sure everything goes smoothly when the clock strikes midnight. The Future of Pittsburgh Ball passed its final test on top of Penn Avenue Place.

“We’ll do a 10 second countdown and it will go up to the top of that pole at midnight welcoming in 2018,” said Director of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh Sarah Aziz.

Fireworks will go off to welcome in the new year.

Crews spent the day setting up the Highmark Stage so musicians can take the stage at 11:30 p.m.

This is the first time in the history of Highmark First Night that some events actually had to be moved inside due to the extremely cold temperatures, so be sure to bundle up, wear a lot of layers and don’t forget your hand warmers.

The popular puppet parade was moved inside the August Wilson Center.

“I think it’s going to be a situation where spectators become part of the experience and perhaps this parade will march upstairs to the second floor and back down and maybe blend a little bit with our dance party,” said Festival Marketing Director of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Derek Scalzott.

Other performances scheduled to be outside are moved inside the Benedum.

However the fire and ice show is still taking place outside at 9th and Penn.

As for safety and security, Pittsburgh Police are manning the substation downtown and will have undercover and uniformed officers all over the city keeping an eye on things.

“Safety of everybody who comes down. protection of property will be our primary concerns this year with the additional edge of the freezing cold temperatures,” said Incident Commander with Pittsburgh Police Cristyn Zett. “As always we will be extra vigilant.”

Most importantly, organizers say stay warm and have fun!

“Bundle up for sure. We’re Pittsburghers. We’re hearty,” said Aziz.

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